© Getty Images
Sen. John McCainJohn McCainGrassley wants details on firm tied to controversial Trump dossier Republicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report This week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat MORE (R-Ariz.) is taking a veiled shot at Donald TrumpDonald TrumpCombating opioid epidemic, repealing ObamaCare will hurt the cause Money doesn't buy elections and elections aren't rigged. Period. Ongoing wiretapping saga raises host of legal questions MORE over his comments that he would bring back waterboarding and "a lot worse" if he wins the White House.
"It is important to remember the facts: that these forms of torture not only failed their purpose to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies, but compromised our values, stained our national honor and did little practical good," McCain, who chairs the Armed Services Committee, said Monday.
He comments — which he suggested were in response to "loose talk on the campaign trail" — come after Trump said during Saturday's Republican debate that not only would he reinstate waterboarding but that he'd "bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
McCain, who was tortured while held in Vietnam as a prisoner of war, suggested that the Republican candidates should remember the fallout from the Bush administration's Abu Ghraib scandal, when human rights groups found that U.S. soldiers were abusing and torturing detainees at the Iraqi prison.
He added that the United States needs a president who knows that "sacrificing our respect for human dignity will make it harder, not easier, to prevail in this war.”
Trump has repeatedly voiced support for waterboarding during the campaign. Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report How 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump MORE (R-Texas) also said during Saturday's debate that while he doesn't support reinstating the interrogation technique "in any sort of widespread use," he also doesn't consider it to be "torture."
Cruz voted for an amendment from McCain that banned brutal interrogation techniques widely classified as torture, including waterboarding, as part of an annual defense policy bill.
Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's Labor pick Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE (R-Fla.), who is also running for the GOP nomination, didn't vote on McCain's amendment.